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Birth of Christ Celebration with the Armenian Orthodox Community

06 Jan 2016


The Armenian community celebrates Christmas on 6 January every year, with Orthodox Christians in churches in Ethiopia, Greece, Russia and elsewhere celebrating on or around the same date. When the Romans converted to Christianity in 336 they took 25 December as Christmas, celebrated by Western and Roman Catholic churches. The Armenian Apostolic Church starts celebrating the feast on the night of 5 January, when churches offer prayers in recognition of the virgin birth. A torch carried home from church symbolises the light that led the three kings to Jesus, but not before the congregation gathers outside the church to hug and kiss one another in a sign of peace. Congregants take the chance to bury the hatchet with anyone with whom they have had a dispute. The celebrations last four days, during which time visits are made, and prayers said.

The Armenian Community in Iraq

Armenia is bordered by Turkey to the west, Azerbaijan to the east and Iran to the south. A huge proportion of Armenians live in exile following the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. As many as a million people were murdered in the atrocity. Iraqi Armenians hold Iraqi citizenship and speak Armenian as well as Arabic.


Iraqi Armenian Personalities

  1. Sita Hakobian: Iraqi singer, known for “When we Were Young”.
  2. Jakob Sarkees: Iraqi author of “The Iraqi Detectives”.
  3. Sara Askendarian: Known by the people of Baghdad as Sara Khatoon, the Camp Sara district was named after her.
  4. Calost Colbnkyan: One of the best-known businessmen in Iraq. He built the first National Stadium and contributed to the building of Medical City in Baghdad.
  5. Azaduhe Samuel: Iraqi Armenian Actress
  6. Ohanis Mradyankan: The first person to make a chicken pox vaccination available in Baghdad.
  7. Gerayar Kayayan: Iraqi sportsperson won the first body building championship in Iraq in 1949

Pictures of traditional Armenian Costume


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